Marilyn and Garry wrote a blog a while back about watching one of their favorite movies, “Rustler’s Rhapsody.” It’s also one of my favorite movies. They introduced it to me.
I’ve seen it dozens of times and I love introducing it to any friend who hasn’t seen it before.
It’s a very loving parody of all the great western movies of the 30’s and 40’s. An ode to the singing cowboy. The closing music over the credits is one of my all time favorite songs, “The Last Of The Silver Screen Cowboys”. I swear to God I tear up a little every time I hear it.
I was one of those little kids with the Roy Rogers cowboy hats and a pair of six-shooters. Every day when I was four or five, I’d strap on my six guns, put on my hat and go out in the backyard and do my “patrol.”
You’d be amazed by the number of bad guys and rustlers I ran off my property. When I’d come back home (my back porch), my Grandpa would have already left me my “lunch.” A single Necco wafer. We ran a lean ranch.
I listened to the song again after I read the post and it got me to thinking.
There’s a great line in the song that says “Roy, and Trigger, we loved you. And Hoppy we saved all our dimes. For the Saturday double features. And we sat through each movie two times.”
I’m tearing up again. They acknowledged Trigger, but what about the other great horses? Silver, Scout, Buttermilk, Topper, Buckshot, Wildfire, and of course, Champion, the Wonder Horse.
Think about it. The horses were really the smart ones in the movies. Silver was always pulling the Lone Ranger out of the river after he falls off a cliff and is unconscious. Scout is always getting Tonto out-of-town at the last minute after the townsfolk finished beating the shit out of him because the Lone Ranger sent him to town to get some “information.”
I’ve often wondered what they thought about their riders, seeing them doing the same stupid things over and over again.
TRIGGER: Silver, Scout, hey guys! What’s up?
SILVER: Same ole, same ole. Just pulled the Ranger out of the river again before the bad guys found him. Fifth time I’ve had to do it this month.
TRIGGER: How’d he end up in the river this time?
SILVER: Same reason as always. Got his head grazed by a bullet, fell off a cliff, and knocked himself out. You’d think he’d learn.
SCOUT: Humans, very hard to train. Take my guy, Tonto. The Ranger is always sending him into town to get some “information.” And every time he does, the townsfolk beat the shit out of him, knock him out. I have to drag his ragged ass back to camp. You’d think by now he’d say “Fuck you Kemosabe, you go to town and get the shit beat out of you.” But no, not Tonto. A real type-B personality.
SILVER: What about your guy, Trigger? What does he do that annoys you?
TRIGGER: Not much really. I do get tired of having to rear up on my hind legs and whinny every time we leave to go somewhere. I mean, most of the time there’s nobody around to even see it. What’s the point?
SILVER: I hear that. My guy does that all the time. Drives me nuts.
SCOUT: Tonto tries to do that too. I just ignore him.
SILVER: So, Trigger, I got a question. I’ve always been curious. Is Roy, uh, how do I put it? Um, gay?
TRIGGER: What?! No!
SCOUT: Not that there’s anything wrong with that!
TRIGGER: Why would you think that?
SILVER: Well, I mean, come on. Look at how he dresses. He’s very stylish for a cowboy. And he’s into musical theater. He sings in every one of his movies. I’m just saying …
TRIGGER: What about your guy? He basically wears a unitard!
SILVER: Point taken.
SCOUT: Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
TRIGGER: And what about Dale Evans?
SILVER: Could just be his beard. Ever seen them kiss?
TRIGGER: Well, no, but…
SILVER: The only one I’ve ever seen him kiss is you.
TRIGGER: Hey! I’m a confident heterosexual horse!
SILVER: So that means’ you’ve done it with Buttermilk?
SCOUT: Oh, I would so tap that filly. She’s hot. Get ’em up, Scout!
TRIGGER: Uh, well, not yet but ….
SILVER: Look, it’s all cool. There’s something else I’ve always wondered about. Why is it that all the people in the towns ride horses — except Pat Brady, who drives a broken-down World War II jeep? What the hell is that all about? What year is it, anyway?
SCOUT: And why do you make Bullet run alongside the jeep? I mean, we’re built to run 30 to 40 miles an hour. He’s just a German Shepard! Why not let him ride in the jeep?
I guess these are questions that will never get answered. And for the record, I am not suggesting that Roy Rogers was gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
I was just horsing around.